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Fanbyte Report: 1-2 Switch sequel's poor internal reception has its release in limbo

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Pretty amazing story here


Accounts differ on exactly when the sequel to 1-2 Switch started development. The title, which sources say settled on Everybody’s 1-2 Switch at one point, went through a few variations as the developers struggled with a core question: how exactly do you make a sequel to 1-2 Switch? The obvious answer was simply to add more minigames, as other iterative party titles had done, but they also wanted to release a title that didn’t render the first game moot and stop it from selling.

The inspiration instead came from Jackbox Games, developers of the Jackbox Party Pack series. Games like You Don’t Know Jack, Fibbage, Quiplash, and the like are popular at parties, inspiring the Everybody’s 1-2 Switch team to establish a game show-like theme with a host and more participants. As opposed to the original game’s setup of having two users with a joycon each going up against each other, Everybody’s 1-2 Switch had many more players at once. With the use of smartphones, the game could have lobbies as big as 100 players — thus, the name Everybody’s 1-2 Switch.

It tested horribly.

When playtesting groups received the game, the feedback to the development team was brutal. The target audiences Nintendo was hoping to hit — families with children — found the games boring; many didn’t even want to play through entire rounds. In the Bingo example, one player would use the joycon to mime digging out a number before reading it off the TV screen — a process that playtesters reported as tedious.

It is important to note that this is not uncommon for a game: some projects just test badly and get quietly shelved or reworked. It happens far more often than people know and, under normal circumstances, this is likely what would have happened and no one would have been the wiser. But no one expected Everybody’s 1-2 Switch to test quite as badly as it did. Different trusted employees within Nintendo were raising alarms that the game released as-is would damage the company’s reputation as a great software developer.
 
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